I'm really surprised by some of the descriptions of hikers in this article that appeared in the local newspaper this morning. It describes how the staff at Mountain Crossings, the outfitter and hostel at Neels Gap, Ga., help Appalachian Trail thru-hikers shake out their gear in the first few days of their hike.
Here's an example:
"It had taken the Bentleys six days to hike from Springer Mountain to Mountain Crossings. At the beginning, Jim's pack weighed 65 pounds, and he suffered mightily for it."
Um, that's 32 miles in six days.
I hope the Bentley family gets their hiking legs on and starts adding a few more miles to their day. If you average less than six miles a day, you'll finish the AT in what, never?
It says he suffered mightily under a pack weighing 65 pounds. Ya think?
Before I'm accused of being an ultralight snob, my pack base weight is no where near as light as some hikers. But 65 pounds?!
People, try doing a little research into what it takes to hike more than 2100 miles before you hit the trail. Try the Internet, for instance. Supposedly there's a lot of information to be found there.
Oh, and while I'm ranting, I can't believe the News-Sentinel used a large, closeup photo of a dirty, nasty blister on a hiker's toe to promote this story on the front page of the Sunday paper.
Maybe I don't know anything about the newspaper business, but did they think an oozing blister would sell more newspapers?
Okay, end of rant.